tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 23, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
care or the affordable care act. i think what we should be doing is planning to retire those members of congress that are responsible for the shutdown and are not protecting the american people and getting health care for those that need it. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. party poopers. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in boston. let me start with this. yes, party poopers. yes everyone's heard of them. they show up in a room and suddenly things turn bad. they don't come to enjoy the evening. they come to ruin it. that's who they are. negative forces in the party, in the politics. these led now by ted cruz have
tried to shut down everything. any movement toward compromise and any step towards positive government in this country. don't think people haven't noticed. we start by looking at the damage to the republican party, most importantly to the reputation of its character. the poopers have left behind -- the body blows just keep on coming. we have four major polls showing the republican party in dismal condition. a favorable 30%. and an unfavorable rating of 64%. that is an all time high dating back to 1992. then there's the image problem. in a new york times opinion
piece, five generations of stalled republicans including a president. he writes, there is more than a passing similarity being joseph mccarthy and ted cruz between mccarthyism and the tea party movement and a key indication of which party has more enthusiastic donors, new numbers show mock the campaign committees out there, democrats are outraising republicans now. and among the super pints in 2012 shoveled heaps of money. the democrat super pacs are outraising republican super pacs by two to one. the damage report, please. >> it's very significant, chris. and we saw it play out in a month, in an off-year election cycle. so we have a lot of time for things to get worse. and one of the things if you're a republican that has to be really alarming is if you look at the ted cruz wing of the
republican party, the fact that this has backfired so spectacularly, that those numbers are where they are, are not a sign of reflection, they are at the end of the day a sign, testament of their ver tu, a testament to their cause. >> does it bother you that palinism is ma tast sizing? even in the northeast you see a lot of tea party action, hard right, very hard right in tactics as well as in ideology. >> i've always believed the no-nothing wing of the republican party, this ideological wing that doesn't have a grounded point of view aligned with the traditioning of american conservatism, that it
was going to have to be confronted by the party as a whole. and we're going to have an enormous fight, as we get ready for the 2016 nominating contest about what the direction of the party's going to be. and if we put up the wrong person into the general election, then we'll have a blow out of simply epic proportions. and we'll have a live test of the proposition that's before us, whether cruzzism properly explained and articulated to the american people is going to rally them to a great conservative awakening. i think it's ludicrous, but we may have to test that out in order to prove the point. >> howard, you always know more than i do about what's going on. what's worse for the republican party, of all these leading indicators, the money, which is fickle, the major crash in the polling, or the statements by
historic, john taft. i don't know the fellow, but i know the name as you do. someone who speaks out in a "new york times" peace. your thoughts. >> based on the republicans i've talked to, i've mentioned two other things as well. one of them is the fact that it looks quite possible that terry mccallive, the democrat is going to win the governorship of virginia. and if he does so, that will be in good measure because of ted cruz and the shutdown of the government. and ted vuz's embodiment of what the democrats are up against. and they will even accept -- >> how do you, how do you get that figured out for people who are skeptical of that? >> for one very simple fact is that the shutdown put about 150,000 people in virginia who are federal employees out of work for a few weeks and caused
major disruption to the economy in northern virginia, especially. that's number one. number two, the virginia voters had an example to look at right across the river. and they tied ken cuccinelli, the republican candidate to the tea party, even though cuccinelli doesn't always agree with everything the tea party says. another thing i would mention is the fact that with all the criticism of obama care, the polling numbers for obama care's popularity actually ticked up a couple points in the last week or so. and i would put that down entirely to the fact that ted cruz is against it. so the only thing, the only thick that is keeping obama care afloat politically at all is the fact that ted cruz is on the other side. >> well, because, i was just thinking of that old line, what a revolting development this is. >> that's true. >> let's take a look at two tea
party leaders, cruz and lee who marched their party toward disaster are now paying the price. a majority of utah voters view mike lee unfavorable. back in june, his numbers were a mirror image of where they are now. john huntsman said people in his state of utah don't favor extreme politicians. quote, you don't have ideological whack jobs for all of us, all of its labeling as a red state. underneath it, utah is a pretty pragmatic western state. the new cnn poll has cruz's favorable rating at 23%. his favorable's dropped 7 points, his unfavorable has raised 6. i worked in politics in utah. that's where i got my start in
democratic politics out there. but it's interesting that orrin hatch isn't some crazy right-winger. i just wonder if there's a more reasonable center right out there that has been given credit because of all the noise of the tea partiers. >> well, utah is an amazing well governed state. you look at the olympics. you look at the economic development. you look at the sheer number of technology jobs leaving california, for example. moving to utah. it's a state where government is working efficiently. it's really achieving as it was a conservative, that level of functionality that you'd like to see out of government. so this caricature that utah is a crazy right-wing place is dispelled by that poll. and in fact, in reality, it's not. the other thing i would mention, about what howard talked about with cuccinelli, there's another model on display.
and that's the republican governor of new jersey, arguably one of the bluest states in the country, somebody who doesn't carry the tea party baggage with him to be reelected. and when you look at the problems of the party, very much so someone in a typical year would be looked at as an antidote to cure what ails us, but instead is attacked by a lot of the people who are celebrating an approval rating of 23% as somehow virtuous. and the simple fact is being unpopular is not a route to winning elections in the american system of government. >> are you saying that utah is sober min-minded as well as sob? >> it is both sober mienzonsobe well as at times sober.
mcdaniel recently addressed a group that is neoconfederate. it invites all you politically incorrect folks to come celebrate the south. in addition to mcdaniel, another speaker as a co-author of the book, attendees are encouraged to dress out as confederates in ante bell um garb. >> this was on one level laughable. but on another level serious. there are small but existing secessionist movements in six or seven states. and in certain respects, cruzzism, if that's a term, and steve used it, cruzzism
represents a disdain of, distrust of the federal government at a deeper level than we've seen at any time since the start of the civil rights movement. this is a big and arguably very low moment in american politics right now, because you have people basically suggesting that the whole idea of the federal government is not to be trusted. and if you're not going to trust it whether it's on obama care or a whole host of other thing, then what's left? and that's sort of what the symbolism of the mother jones article addresses. >> i think the wording we're hearing and a lot of comment tear eye, it's this strange evocation of the civil war and the fighting spirit that led to the civil war. it's very strangely being brought back by these people. coming up. senator dick dur bib says during negotiations, the house leader told president obama i cannot even stand to look at you. the white house says that never
happened. either way, the republicans have shown only contempt for obama. republicans are making business, baseless claims and ultimately cheering for failure. no one their poll numbers are in the dumps. plus, if you weren't already against the war in iraq -- and the resignation of a white house staffer, was huma wearing beer goggles the night she met anthony wiener? this is "hardball."
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the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> you lie! >> so you accept the fact he was a born american? >> i'm not -- no comment. >> if i could write that -- >> do it. >> excuse me, i feel your pain. i know. i stood 12 feet away from the guy. and i, i couldn't stand being there. >> welcome back. those will just a few examples of how members of congress treat the president with disrespect.
quote, many americans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say president obama doesn't work hard enough to communicate with republicans, but in a negotiation meeting one house member told the president i cannot even stand to look at you. a person said to the president of the united states in his company. well, white house secretary jay carney said the exchange didn't happen. and john boehner and eric cantor and their bosses say it didn't happen. make no mistake, this president has been subjected to disrespect. joining me from mother jones magazine, cynthia, i believe dick durbin's a responsible man. when you say something like that, it staggers me. it must have staggered him when he heard it. i do understand why the white house would not want to make a
big issue out of it because in a way certain insults are truly insulting, even if they were delivered which a bad person. they hurt both sides. your thought? >> the reason why this remark is so plausible is because there has been so much disrespect hurled at the president. i, too, understand why obama would like to minimize this and say it didn't happen. perhaps he's gotten used to it. you know, they have called the man everything but a child of god. but we know for a fact that joe wilson yelled out, you lie, during the middle of a president alaba address to congress. we know for a fact that ever since the campaign, prom nants republicans have been suggesting that he wasn't born in the united states, that he's a usurper who came to the white house illegally. that bandwagon in the first
campaign, by the way, was led by sarah palin who was the vice presidential nominee on the republican ticket. so we have witnessed so much disrespect heaped on this president that it is easy for us to believe that what dick durbin said was true. >> let me go to david. your view on this subject. i think it's beyond even tribal. tribal is not a good american word. something about personal tissue rejection. like we don't accept, in the human body. we don't accept this artificial arm that's been put on us, this artificial heart. our whole being. this is only about 20% of the country. my god, i'm so thrilled when i think about 70% of america are thrilled that he's our president. but some people have this visceral thing, i couldn't stand standing next to him for ten
minutes. i'm not sure he was in great shape when he said that. but he said that. i'll give him a break. maybe he wasn't in great shape when he said it. >> we've been talking about this for years now. it goes on and on. and it's not, sometimes it's outright disrespect like you lie. and i think more prominent members of the republican party do it a little differently. mitt romney, when he ran for president last year, two years ago, he put out a presentation in which he said president obama doesn't believe in the american experiment. newt gingrich has a tv gig on another network saying the only way you got on the stand was if you called him an anti-american kenyan. we hear them using crude language like you lie or more sophisticate the arguments all to say this guy doesn't deserve our respect. 's not one of us. he's not an american. he doesn't understand americans,
the american experiment, it just doesn't stop. i happen to think, i find it really hard to believe that john boehner, eric cantor, kevin mccarthy, as much as i disagree with their policies, would actually say that to the president's face. but nevertheless, they lead a party that tries to make obama different. >> and they don't spot that down. they don't object -- >> that's a good point. >> -- to that kind of language when they hear it. >> there was a tea party rally on the steps of the capitol that was blessed by john boehner and the republican leadership. and people started chanting nazis, nazis, nazis about obama and the people who wanted to pass the health care law. they just sort of stood there.
they don't mind this. they exploit it. but it's where the energy is on the right these days. >> well, land born from the right says touching obama would be the equivalent of touching a tar baby. >> even if some people say well the republicans should have done this or they vud have done that, i don't want to be associated with it. it's like touching a tar baby. you can't get away. >> i didn't make it up. that's the congressman. a spokes woman later said he sent an apology later. >> i am delighted when i hear that sort of rhetoric because it peels back the covers. you know, republicans want to deny that this disrespect for the president, this vitriol, this hay tret, quite frankly,
has anything to do with race. of course it does. it has everything to do with race. that's its foundation. am i saying that anybody who agrees with president, who disagrees with the president is a racist? no, i'm not. but i am saying that in that 20 to 25% of tea partiers are people who will never be comfortable with the idea of a black president. howard was talking about cruzzism earlier and how bad this disrespect for the federal government has become. well, for a bunch of people who see a black man heading that federal government, hatred is the only way they know how to respond. >> put this together, if you can, with another explanation, that may well be the truth. by the way, i just. afraid to say, because then you
have to get into somebody's heart and mind if you say it. historians will say let's look at oakens' razor here. could it obviously be the obvious. david, look at this. phrases like i can't stand to look at you. i couldn't stand being ten feet from you. this personal, almost like kid whose are like i don't want your cooties. that's how kids used to talk. eight year olds. i dwoebts want your cooties. i can't drink out of the same soda bottle as you. i'm calling it tissue rejection because it has nothing to do with ideology or debate or different parties or history. it seems to have some kind of weird thing. i don't want to be seen at home as comfortable in the presence of this guy. i want to look like i'm awkward. >> there's something quite visceral, emotional, psychological about this. it's not about policy differences. obama care came from the heritage found day, right? obama in a lot of ways has made
concessions, hasn't been as leb r -- liberal as a lot of liberals want him to be, trying to bend over backwards to get republicans on board. so he hasn't been this radical, wide-eyed, wild-eyed liberal that they think, and the country has not fallen to pieces, but yet they have this character view of him where he is a secret socialist or muslim trying to destroy the country. not that he's just wrong. i never thought that george w bush cheney wanted to destroy america. they just can't accept that he thinks differently than them and that he cares as much about
america as they do. >> he kill ours enemies and doubles the stock market. thank you. up next, jon stewart uncovers the source of the tea party craziness over the past few years. mine was earned orbiting the moon in 1971. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection
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back to "hardball," time for the science show. senator mccain may be an outspoken about the tea party, he bears more responsibility for their rise to power than he's willing to admit. >> you don't get to complain. mccain, you don't get to complain, at all. because if i remember correctly, no matter how cuckoo for coco puffs your colleagues are, they don't come anywhere close to
your hatchling. you opened pandora's box. you were the guy who gave the maug we a post midnight all you can eat buffet. you don't get to complain that now the party's overrun with gremlins. what's happening? next, the daily beast has out add white house official as the mole behind national security tweeting. the man responsible is jofi joseph who was with the staff before stepping down last week because of his tweets. some of his choice tweets include this about anthony weiner. quote, was huma wearing beer goggles the night she met anthony weiner?
and this about daryl issa. look, issa's a -- but he's on to something here with the hillary clinton/benghazi. one state is coming up with creative ways to boost the affordable care act. among the many images they've created, one looks more like an ad for animal house than for insurance. the tag line reads, brosuranc. don't tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. we've got it covered. now you can too. dick cheney has been making the rounds talking about heart health. it turns out it was a political issue back in wyoming back in
'78 after his first heart attack. >> having had a mild heart attack led me to reflechkt and upon reflection we decided we didn't want to continue the campaign, primarily because we enjoy being part of something large irth largeer than our severs. something as big as representing the people of wyoming. dwight eisenhower, lbj, i expect to be one of those. >> i wish him the very best with his health by the way. he's been very gutsy. this has nothing to do with politics. up next, the republican party is making cheers for the affordable health care law to fail. customer's not happy, i'm not happy. sales go down, i'm not happy. merch comes back, i'm not happy. use ups. they make returns easy. unhappy customer becomes happy customer. then, repeat customer.
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i'm page hopkins. nbc news has learned the deadline for individuals to buy health insurance will be pushed back as much as six weeks. the white house is calling it a fix to the law they would have made even without website issues. the cousin of the kennedys is in court. and a 14 year old boy is charged with killing a teacher. video surveillance linked the teen to her death. now we're going to take you back to "hardball." nobody says the site is working the way we want it to. certainly, the president acknowledged that yesterday. no one could be more frustrated than i am and the president that this isn't smooth. people are frustrated with the website.
but the product is there. the prices are good. it will not sell out, and the prices won't change. >> welcome back to "hardball," that was of course hhs secretary kathleen sebelius. in this interview, she said that president obama was not made aware of the problems facing the website until after its launch. well, that's something to know. and earlier this week the president announced he was launching an offensive to root out and fix the problems. so far, there have been huge improvements in the number of americans able to get into the site and create accounts. but insurers aren't reporting much improvement either in successful enrollments or in the data transcription errors. no one knows whether the system will be fixed in the next few weeks or not. in this case, time is not on the president's side. experts agree if the website isn't functioning normally by thanksgiving at the very latest,
it could create real havoc with the law's implementation. we have a former special adviser to president obama and a correspondent for the had you evering ton post. it's good to have on somebody who can be a critic. but it's rooting for the success of the program. let me ask you a very general question. all the people out there on the right and some in the center, but mostly on the right, are loving these problems. it's this constant drum beat of attack, dumping on this process, hurting its implementation? >> of course it hurts it. and most importantly, it hurt it before october 1st when we were trying to get it up and running. and there was constant threats of defunding and trying to undermine the system. and i think that's a big, big problem. but i also do think you have to implement well, no matter what the incoming fire. >> right. was there a kind of a passive aggress on the part of these conservative red states where
they waited pretty late before they said we don't want -- even though we believe in states' rights we don't want to run the program. 30 states said, okay, washington, you do it. nobody thought it would be that impassive that they would throw to washington to do it all. a friend of mine is an expert of these programs. >> you need state cooperation. remember, state insurance commissioners have to approve what's going to be listed in a state in terms of insurance. they have to intersecretary with the system. so it's more than just passive. they're actively out there trying to thwart it. but i do think the white house has taken an important step in appointing jeff zients. and i hope they appoint someone on a more long-term basis. they're going to institute briefings now on a daily basis to inform the american public on what the problems are and what
the solutions are. so i think they clearly had a sort of come to jesus moment and are turning the ship around. and i applaud them for that. but as you point out, they've got five weeks. and there is a lot of time pressure. >> well, it seems to me there's two concepts at war here. one is the implementation and the concept itself. lincoln fought the war with bad generals until he found u.s. grant. if this were the civil war, they'd say oh, give up, let robert e. lee win this baby and let them secede. let me ask you. are they still needing a general grant to lead this program? someone to come in and really be a winning, winning general? a lucky general? >> i think it's a great question. jeff zients is going to have to take on that role. i am a little less forgiving
because they did have three years to put up that website. but three times is plenty of time to get the coding right. and what we're looking at is a real coding failure. that said, you are seeing a patchwork of health care reform develop in this country, in which some states are buying into the concept of bawl care, places like kentucky, new york, et cetera. and even now in ohio where john kasich announced that he would expand medicaid to poor and lower class ohioans, and then you see states not trying to participate in the law. what you're going to end up with is a real patchwork system of health care coverage in the united states. >> is this like nullification? zeke, is this like nullification where if a state wants to oppose a charter, they say you run it, but we hope it fails? we're not helping you? >> they're certainly taking that attitude. but i think in the end, and the end will be in the next year or
so, the website is going to work. and people in those states are going to be able to buy insurance and are going to be able to to get coverage for a very good price. the people who are left out are basically the hard-working people mo earn less than 100% of the poverty line. so for a family of four, less than 23, $24,000. and aren't going to be covered in the exchange and won't get medicaid. and those are the poorest of the poor in this country. and that's a real tragedy. >> and where are they going to be? >> they're going to be in texas, in florida, alabama, mississippi. >> yeah. >> because the governors have said we don't care about those people? among republicans? >> when the supreme court decided that states could opt out of the medicaid expax, and that innocent advised a lot of governors to say we're not going to expand med kait kad, even
though the government was taking 100% of the cost in the first year and 90% thereafter. you will have southern states, a huge swath of people who could get care under obama care but won't because of the decisions made by their governor. >> this sounds like a realization in the 47% line in the campaign. it sounds like the republican candidate, mitt romney might not have been the most philosophical, but he was right when he said we don't care about the 47%. and now we see that philosophy such as it is exemptfied by the refusal to cooperate, getting medical care to people in need. >> i think there is something to that, chris. and i think that the best revenge of the democrats is going to be to get this up and running and to have the states that are really enthusiastic, the ones sam pointed out, like california, colorado, kentucky
and new york and show them you get lower health care cost, a better healthy population and it turns out to be business friendly. and businesses like the arrangement and show it's better for your economy. that is going to be the ultimate proof that health care reform was worth it for the country. >> in one or two years times, states like alabama are going to look at kentucky and say wow, they were able to implement the reform in their own version and variety and they did it at much lower cost than we anticipated. maybe we should revisit what we initially stated a year ago. you know, we're going to have to take time. a lot of this requires a bit of patience which is not in high demand in washington. >> that's not an american vir e virtue. thank you. this is "hardball," the place for politics. a can of del monte green beans?
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we're back. the leak of valerie plains' identity is one of the worst. the vice president's chief of staff scooter libby was convicted of lying to investigators. in spite of what he first told reporters, we now know libby first learned about her identity from dick cheney himself. to this day, questions remain about the role cheny played, they believe libby was protecting cheney. and it led to bush's decision not to pardon libby.
you are leaving a good man wounded on the field of battle. peter, it seems to me, i was totally focused on this those months to the point that really scooter libby that i was so focused on him and the vp. i don't believe he was a criminal in the sense of someone robbing gas stations or the embezzler. i believe he was doing what the boss wanted done. maybe the boss didn't say go do it, but cheney wanted joe wilson, wanted to diminish the credibility of joe wilson. outing his wife as an agent may have been part of that. my question to you is, how did you find out that cheney was perceived by bush as benefitting from that pardon himself? that he would somehow benefit by pardoning scooter libby? >> well, the discussion they had, really the fight that they had, president bush and vice president cheney in the last days of their administration consumed by this discussion about whether to pardon scooter libby. the president decided to send his lawyers out to relook at the
case. ian met with scooter libby at a seafood restaurant near the white house. he said, look, we think the jury had ample reason to convict. what was interesting is the president on his mind swuz special pleading. the vice president in effect was pleading for the man that the president seemed to think would take a bullet for his vice president. and that ultimately did influence the decision not to give that pardon. and it was a big break between the two men. >> you don't have to read between the lines. cheney himself said they were on the field. he was accused of doing something cheney would like to have gotten done. maybe he didn't say lie to the special prosecutor. let's talk about what you were able to figure out about cheney. i always thought cheney was a big hawk. really focuseden the war. i have never been able to figure
out exactly why we went to war with iraq. why did cheney want to go to war in iraq? let's start with him. >> a lot of people speculate he has unfinished business from the gulf war when he was a defense secretary to push his father. i found this oral history he gave months before running for vice president. nobody had seen him before from the miller scepter where he said then in 2000, we made the right decision not to go to baghdad. it would have been a disaster. if something happened between 2000 and the beginning -- or if end of 2001 when they began thinking about iraq. obviously 9/11 played a huge role. you can't discount the atmosphere of spear, responsibility that was infecting the white house at that time. >> i'm not a brain surgeon. but i notice he's a ferocious -- maybe i am, too. but he's a ferocious partisan at a times. i have seen him go after opponents. he wants to beat them.
he wants to crush him. and there's something about hussein that he said this guy needs to be killed. we killed tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of iraqis to do this. for what? i look at what's happening and say for what? >> look, i think cheney spent the '80s going through the continuity of government exercises and participating in apocalyptic scenarios. by the time he comes into the office this is everything he was fearing. everything he prepared for. >> what does iraq have to do with it? you're talking about impulse for something, but why iraq? >> saddam hussein, he was told after the gulf war he was closer to a nuclear device than intelligence knew at that time in 1991. so he didn't believe he might not have it this time.
he said they were fur longed. where did he get the evidence to push the mushroom cloud by condoleezza rice endless. everybody talked nuclear, nuclear, nuclear. what evidence did he have that saddam hussein was close to having a nuclear weapon? hard evidence. what made him justify a war of killing lots of people? >> that was the weakest part of the intelligence. even within the intelligence community. they felt stronger about chemical weapons. there was a big debate inside the administration. cheney chose to see the most dangerous version of that. his idea was if there's a 1% chance of something like that happening, we have to treat it as a real possibility and act accordingly. >> okay. in a couple of words, what did cheney think of bush? >> well, i think he had a will the of respect for him over the years, but by the time he left
office he was disappointed in him. the relationship changed over time. by the time they left office. >> peter, i'm going to read your great book. i am going to read this book. good luck with this book. the book is called days of fire. by the way, his name is pronounced cheney. as your life changes, fidelity is there for your personal economy, helping you readjust along the way, refocus as careers change and kids head off to college, and revisit your investments as retirement gets closer. wherever you are today, fidelity's guidance can help you fine-tune your personal economy. start today with a free one-on-one review of your retirement plan. yeah? then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident,
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let me finish with this. i'm up here in boston for the gala at the john kennedy library. these are people doing something positive. meanwhile, this reminds me of something franklin roosevelt said as the country battled itself out from under the great depression. quote, better the occasional mistake of a government that cares than a constant omission of the government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. does anyone think the critics of affordable care want to improve it? do they wish it well and hope the best efforts to get it up and working? here's a clue. was there an alternative plan to ensure tens of millions in the hospitals? was there a republican alternative to determine people with preexisting conditions were covered? was there a gop plan to get health care to those protected? today the air waves are clogged with the voices of indifference.